A History of the Talmud

Dr. David Kraemer
By :  David C. Kraemer Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics Posted On Feb 25, 2020 | Author Conversations: Between the Lines

A Discussion with Author and JTS Professor David Kraemer

It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of the Talmud in Judaism and beyond, yet its difficulty, its language, and its “foreign” assumptions render it inaccessible to most modern readers. This book offers what none before it has: a sophisticated but accessible introduction to the Talmud, its origins, and its often controversial status through history, accounting for the insights of the most recent historical and literary scholarship while making no assumptions concerning the reader’s prior knowledge.


David Kraemer is a Professor at The Jewish Theological Seminary, where he has also served as director of its world-class library for nearly fifteen years. Kraemer’s scholarship is diverse and influential. His Mind of the Talmud helped redefine the understanding of the Talmud for a new generation. His much-cited Jewish Eating and Identity Through the Ages was the first comprehensive history of Jewish eating practices. His other monographs have been similarly impactful. As steward of the largest collection of rare Judaica in the world, Kraemer has been instrumental in bringing record of the Jewish past before the eyes of the world.